A caring man, a loving father, devoted husband and a no-nonsense individual, were among the many qualities attributed to late Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) president Derrick Alphonzo Garrett, during his funeral service at the Christ Church Parish Church this evening.
Garrett passed away on September 14 after a two-year battle with cancer. And this afternoon, scores of persons, including members of his family, the basketball and other sporting fraternities, members of the Guardian Group where he worked, friends and acquaintances, packed inside and outside the church.
Sports administrators such as outgoing Barbados Olympic Association president Steve Stoute, assistant director of sport at the National Sports Council, Mona Alleyne, former Barbados cricket manager, Hartley Reid, former teacher and entertainer Mac Fingall, all joined Garrett’s wife Ingrid, mother Valda Pinder, sons Darren and Derrick Jr., sister Denise Holder, mother of West Indies captain, Jason Holder, to pay their final goodbyes.
Just after 2 p.m. wife Ingrid read the eulogy and spoke about a dedicated man who had a great love for basketball and who served as BABA president for six years from 2011 until taking his final breath this month.
Speaking about her husband of 33 years, Garrett said: “The Garrett name was synonymous with defending those who needed it. Seeing or knowing of persons who were being treated unfairly was particularly annoying to Derrick and he would do all in his power to address it, whether it was with his opinion or his action.”
It was that code of conduct she said that kept him in good stead in his job and he was able to use the management skills he acquired to benefit his most beloved passion, basketball.
“From scrimmaging on the court down Government Hill to occupying the top administrative position in basketball, basically summed up Derrick’s journey in the sport. Derrick also expressed a desire to make a contribution to the sport after he retired from playing and therefore had no hesitation in accepting an offer to be on the executive. On becoming president, he was able to use his management skills to stabilize the administrative affairs of the organization and to attract much-needed sponsorship. That latter was difficult because indiscipline among the players was becoming a cause for concern and he quickly realized he had to take action. Perhaps his toughest decision was imposing a lifetime ban on a player, but he was adamant that discipline had to be maintained,” she said.
A diehard Los Angeles Lakers supporter, Ingrid shared a lighter side of Derrick with the congregation. “For Derrick, the Garrett name was never to be hyphenated in marriage and he was adamant that it should be returned in the event of divorce.”
Speaking about the last journey from August 10 to September 14, 2017, through which Derrick endured his ailment, his widow said the one thing that stood out to her most during that time was the limited resources to treat cancer and its symptoms. She, therefore, pleaded with those in authority to address all forms of cancer at the national level.
During his address, Father Mark Harewood commended Derrick for his courage during his time of illness. “We need to face the reality of death because if we don’t understand the reality of death, then we are going to be truly afraid to live. We are to enjoy life, we are to experience life but if we are not prepared to understand the reality of death, then our understanding of life would be limited.”
Garrett was laid to rest at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens, The Ridge, Christ Church.